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INTX 2016: Panel Says Dollars Drive Measurement Transparency

BOSTON—The quest for additional transparency in the modern measurement business will be driven, like most aspects of the TV ad industry, by the amount of money that is being directed toward it, a panel of ad experts said at an INTX Show panel Tuesday.

“The dollars will dictate how this changes,” said comScore executive vice president Cathy Hetzel at the panel session, Getting to Transparency: The Promises and Pitfalls of Modernized Media Measurement. Hetzel added that last year $3 billion of advertising spend went up for renewal and clients want transparency as to where the money is going.

Discovery Communications head of ad sales product strategy and development Keith Kazerman said making sure the data collected is accurate and reliable depends on who is delivering it and what methods are being used.

“Monetizing our investment is incumbent upon us,” Kazerman said. “We need to have a currency that is third-party verified. We should collaborate and work together, programmers distributors, measurement companies to see what standards start to evolve.”

Nielsen senior vice president client solutions Judi Allen said client collaboration is an important part of her company’s Total Audience Measurement products. And she added that clients have to look at data and measurement in general in a different way – moving to a world where shows are measured by the second and ratings periods can be days and even weeks long, requires a different mindset, even about things as simple as how views are counted.

“We want to experience all we can, but getting clients there takes time and effort,” Allen said.

Cablevision Media Sales senior vice president and general manager, advanced data analytics Paul Haddad said that accuracy and accountability also are critical to success.

“We do believe the legacy measurement system for the past six years needs to evolve, it needs to be complemented,” Haddad said, adding that taking responsibility for the lack of measurement or faulty data is just as important as accuracy.

The TV space, although under siege from digital competition, is in a unique position, Allen said, and operators and programmers should step up efforts to drive that point home to advertisers.

“The story is there about the incredible TV experience” Allen said. “There are weaknesses in the existing digital ecosystem.”

Hetzel agreed.

“This is the first year we’re going to see real cross-platform measurement,” Hetzel said. “We have our first reports where we look across unduplicated reach, the first opportunity to be able to understand how consumer are consuming TV. …Transparency is big part of that.”